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The Late-Victorian Little Magazine$
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Koenraad Claes

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474426213

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474426213.001.0001

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Selling the Yellow Nineties: the Yellow Book and the Savoy

Selling the Yellow Nineties: the Yellow Book and the Savoy

(p.107) Chapter 4 Selling the Yellow Nineties: the Yellow Book and the Savoy
The Late-Victorian Little Magazine

Koenraad Claes

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter discusses at length two of the best-publicised periodicals the 1890s, whose relationship reveals much about the reception in wider late-Victorian print culture of the conceptual integration of form and content that increasingly became associated with the little magazine genre. The slyly marketed Yellow Book (1894–97) is arguably the most notorious yet also the most ingeniously commercialist little magazine of all time, and it styled itself a ‘book’ for good reason. By emulating the appearance of a book, its editors and publisher John Lane at the Bodley Head hoped to safeguard their publication against the ephemerality and relative lack of prestige of periodical texts. The magazine drew a number of large advertisers and sold remarkably well until it was implicated in the Wilde trial in 1895. Its characteristic appearance had at that point become so recognisable that the magazine, as well as its rivals at the Savoy (1896) founded by the Yellow Book’s ousted alleged ‘Decadent’ ringleaders Arthur Symons and Aubrey Beardsley, felt that they needed to rethink their design aesthetic. Some material characteristics associated with the little magazine had become iconic and associated with transgressive content.

Keywords:   Yellow Book, John Lane, Bodley Head, Oscar Wilde, Savoy, Decadence, Arthur Symons, Aubrey Beardsley

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